Writer’s block is at it again, so we’re going to look at a story about how cool God is instead! I was clearing out old pictures the other day and came across some screenshots from a group text about a year and a half ago. At the time, they were taken as a reminder of how God chose to show me His strength in the middle of my weakness:
The night before the text came through, I was angry about a situation to the point of laying awake stewing over it instead of getting a good night’s rest. It was a Friday night and I was drained from the week, which only made me more frustrated that this was how I was headed into the weekend.
As the hours rolled by, I argued with myself, trying to reason my way into letting go of the anger and dealing with the situation the way I felt I “should” as a Christian. Finally around 1am, it occurred to me that I hadn’t tried praying about it first… What a concept when you’re trying to understand the “Christian” way to handle something!
The funny thing is, I actually asked God to yell at me. My reasoning was that if God yelled at me and told me I needed to handle it more maturely, maybe I’d snap out of it and not be angry anymore. I was asking Him to hit me over the head with how I needed to be, so then I’d do the right thing.
That’s kind of how society thinks God treats people, isn’t it? I’m glad that isn’t true. Instead, this was one of the times God taught me that hitting people over the head isn’t His character.
After praying about the situation I was angry about, I had some peace and finally went to sleep. The next morning (keep in mind I’m still waiting to be yelled at), I woke up to this in a group text:
The Broad Field of Promise
Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain. Ruth 2:2
Downcast and troubled Christian, come and glean today in the broad field of promise. Here is an abundance of precious promises, which meet your needs exactly. Take this one: “A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench.” Is that not helpful to you? A reed, helpless, insignificant, and weak, a bruised reed, out of which no music can come, weaker than weakness itself – yet He will not break you, but on the contrary, will restore and strengthen you.
You are like the smoking wick: No light, no warmth, can come from you, but He will not extinguish you; He will blow with His sweet breath of mercy until He fans you into a flame. Would you glean another ear? “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” What gentle words! Your heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore He speaks so softly to you. Will you not obey Him and come to Him even now?
Take another ear of corn: “Fear not, you worm of Jacob, you men of Israel! I am the one who helps you, declares the Lord; your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.” How can you fear with such a wonderful assurance as this?
You may gather ten thousand golden ears such as this: “I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist.” Or this: “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” Or this: “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” Our Master’s field is very rich, as you can see. Plenty of promises lie before you, believer! Gather them up, make them your own, for Jesus wants you to have them. Do not be afraid; only believe! Grasp these sweet promises, thresh them out by meditation, and feed on them with joy.
I’m not sure what excerpt that came from (or even who it was who sent it), but I sat in awe for a few minutes that morning reading the pieces like: “Your heart is tender, and the Master knows it, and therefore He speaks so softly to you.” There I was waiting for God to yell at me, but instead He saw the ways my heart was breaking and was there to help. And as a little added bonus, there was also an email waiting in my inbox about how Christians can let go of anger. 🙂
It continues to amaze me how gentle the character of God is. Yes, He is mighty and just. But in His might, He reaches down to tenderly strengthen us in our weakness. Not because He has to, but because He loves and cares for us.
Sometimes I feel like I always need to be anticipating what other people will need and planning on how to take care of the situations that will arise… Maybe you feel the same way. Except no matter how hard we work, how much we try to foresee what will come, and how much we are willing to stretch ourselves out for others, we will always fall short. We simply aren’t strong enough by ourselves.
Do you ever want to just rest? Do you wish there was someone looking out for you; someone who saw all your weaknesses and stepped in to help you (without being asked)?
God does that. That’s amazed me so much the past couple years as He’s shown me. He is strong when we are weak, and He doesn’t look on us with disappointment in our weakness. He doesn’t criticize us or hold our failures over our heads. He just asks that we come to Him, lay it all out, and He helps us.
Life has been especially crazy this past year, and maybe you’re feeling weak right now too. I hope this can be an encouragement to you that God is there for you in your weakness. Go to God with it and lay it all out. He will help you if you lay it at His feet and trust Him. Just ask.
Here’s to our journey!